Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Fall library services

Furman University home page

Unpacking your topic: Home

Unpacking Your Topic

 

Have you been assigned a topic or can you chose your own?

The "Developing A Topic" video can help you if you are choosing your own topic.

How many pages will your paper be? Or how long will your presentation be?

Are you required to use a certain number of books or journal articles? Are you required to include specific types of research resources such as scholarly, peer-reviewed, primary, current?

What is the purpose of your assignment? Can you explain it to a friend?

 →Note prompts from your professor like "compare and contrast"; "trace the development of"; "construct a well-researched argument"; "support your conclusion" to know what your assignment should do. If you still don't understand, ask!

When is it due?

 →Create a time line that breaks up the work into chunks:

 • Do background reading to understand the topic--what are the important issues, people, events, vocabulary? Use your text and subject encyclopedias

• Put your topic into a question form--your paper is the answer to the question.

• Gather keywords for searches in the library catalog and appropriate library databases. Ask for help from a librarian if needed.

• Gather your materials, read, highlight and/or take notes.

• Write a draft of your paper. Get feedback from a classmate, The Writing & Media Lab, or your professor.

• Write final version of your paper.

• Make your bibliography or works cited page. The library has tools to help with this.

Subject Guide

Libby Young's picture
Libby Young
Contact:
864 294-2260
Skype Contact: libbyyoung51